Historic announcement by Parties to the Nauru Agreement to enter 40% of their skipjack tuna fishery into MSC full assessment
The MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) welcomes the decision by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) to proceed with the full assessment of 40% of their skipjack tuna fishery. The historic announcement was made today, following the 1st PNA Presidential Summit in Koror, Palau, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to MSC.
The fishery poised for MSC assessment
The decision to go forward follows a pre-assessment by Moody Marine Ltd. and is only with the elements of the fishery that catch free schools of tuna i.e. those that do not use Fish Aggregating Devises (FADs). This distinct section of the fishery catches approximately 330,000 metric tonnes of skipjack tuna per year in the Western and Central Pacific. Skipjack tuna from PNA waters is mostly canned and sold to European and North American markets.
What PNA wants to achieve with the help of MSC certification
PNA Director Dr. Transform Aqorau says: "The PNA exists to maximize the economic benefits to Pacific Islanders from sustainable management of our tuna. Seeking MSC certification is an important step towards this goal so that consumers of our tuna can recognize the value of our work here to control access to tuna resources for the benefits of our PNA members. We look forward to the MSC assessment."
A historic announcement
Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the MSC comments: "Today's announcement is a truly historic one, as it brings us one step further towards providing certified sustainable choices for all key commercial fish species. If the assessment process finds the fishery meets the MSC standard, a significant portion of the skipjack tuna caught by PNA states will be eligible to bear the MSC ecolabel. This will be an important milestone towards satisfying some of the still largely unfulfilled demand for credible, certified sustainable tuna in Europe and North America."
Howes continues: "I am delighted the PNA states - eight countries with a long history of cooperation to jointly manage one of the world's healthiest and most abundant tuna resources - have chosen MSC certification to demonstrate their fisheries resources are managed sustainably for this and future generations."
About the assessment ahead
Bill Holden, the Pacific Fisheries Manager of the MSC says: "In an effort to ensure greater benefit from the fishery to their people, now and into the future, PNA states have developed a series of initiatives to manage tuna in their waters responsibly. A full assessment of the skipjack fishery against the MSC standard will evaluate the fishery for sustainability of the fish stock, environmental impact and effective management. If the PNA tuna fishery passes, it will join a growing number of fisheries around the world that have been recognized and rewarded for their sustainable management."